Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sexual Misconduct?


An umbrella term used to refer to a broad range of sexually inappropriate behaviors prohibited by Florida State University Policy. Sexual Misconduct includes all forms of non-consensual sexual activity and unwelcome sexual conduct including: sexual violence (rape/sexual battery/sexual assault); relationship violence (domestic violence and dating violence); stalking; sex- and gender-based discrimination (including gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation); sexual harassment; and other forms of sexually exploitative behavior. For definitions of sexual misconduct, please see Appendix D of the full Policy.

Is discrimination based on pregnancy or parental status a type of sex discrimination?


Yes. Additionally, reasonable pregnancy and parental accommodations may be available, upon request.

Who is protected from sexual misconduct under Title IX?


All University students, employees, and visitors are protected. This protection is regardless of gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, race, religion, national origin, and any other protected group status. Students from elementary to graduate school are protected, regardless of full- or part-time or online status.

What is Consent?


Consent is active and ongoing, it is not passive or static! (See Appendix D of the Policy for the full definition) Consent includes:

  • Asking the question of a capable person with adequate disclosure and without coercion.
  • A capable person is someone who is not incapacitated. An individual can be incapacitated by drugs, alcohol, illness, or mental impairment/disability. People who are asleep or unconscious are always incapacitated.
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
  • Prior consent does not mean future consent.

How do I get confidential support?


You can seek confidential support from the University’s Victim Advocate Program, University Counseling & Psychological Services, Employee Assistance Program, University Health Center, or University affiliated pastoral counselors.
Confidential disclosure does not generate a Title IX report or criminal report, unless the disclosing party specifically requests that a report be filed. Confidential assistance is available any time regardless of when the incident occurred. Additional resources can be found within Appendix E of the full Policy.

How do I file a report?


Individuals may report information on their own behalf or on behalf of another. A report may be made, verbally or in writing (including online) by bringing the matter to the attention of: Title IX Director; Deputy Title IX Coordinators; FSUPD; or any additional Responsible Employees. There is no time limit for an Affected Party to make a Title IX report, but it may be more difficult to conduct a thorough investigation after an extended period of time. See Section IX of the full Policy.

Can I file a report online?

Who MUST report sexual misconduct?


All Responsible Employees, including but not limited to faculty, adjuncts, staff, graduate assistants, and student employees. As a responsible employee, you must report any student or subordinate disclosure within two business days. When in doubt, report to the Title IX Director; privacy will be maintained within the scope of the law. See Section VIII of the full Policy. Note: Employees and students are encouraged to report peer-to-peer (colleague-to-colleague or student-to-student) disclosure, but are not required to do so.

What do I do if a student discloses to me?


If you are a Responsible Employee, you must report to the Title IX Director, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, or Title IX Investigators. If not a Responsible Employee, you should encourage the student to seek support services. See Appendix E of the full Policy.<

What if the student who discloses is a minor (or was a minor when the abuse occurred)?


In addition to reporting to the Title IX Director or designee, any incidents of abuse of a minor must also be reported to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) by every individual who is made aware of the abuse. Under Florida’s Protection of Vulnerable Persons Act, all Florida residents must personally report any type of child abuse. For more information, please see Protection of Vulnerable Persons Act Tips.

What is the difference between a criminal and FSU/FSUS process?


Individuals have the right to pursue both the criminal and internal University processes. They can be pursued independently or simultaneously. We encourage individuals to pursue both processes. The criminal process is conducted by local law enforcement and the state prosecutor’s office. The criminal process can result in incarceration and the evidentiary standard is beyond a reasonable doubt. The internal University investigation is overseen by the University Title IX Director. If appropriate, the University will implement interim measures and University sanctioning; the evidentiary standard is preponderance of the evidence.

What happens after a report is made to the Title IX Office?


The University will take appropriate measures to investigate, eliminate the inappropriate conduct, address its effects, and prevent reoccurrence. Whenever possible the Reporting Party’s request to the Title IX Director for confidentiality will be maintained. The request for confidentiality must be made to the Title IX Director or designee. Additional information about what happens after disclosure can be found within Sections VIII-XI of the full Policy.

What are the rights of the Reporting Parties and Responding Parties?


The rights of both parties during the investigation and adjudication process include a fair, impartial and prompt investigation and resolution of the allegations. For more information about Reporting Party’s/Responding Party’s Rights, see Appendix H and I of the full Policy.

What is retaliation?


Retaliation is any creation of a hostile environment or adverse action threatened or taken against an individual because they:

  • make a Report pursuant to this Policy;
  • assist another person in making a Report;
  • participate in the investigation of such a Report;
  • or in good faith and in a reasonable manner opposes conduct that they believe constitutes a violation of this Policy.

What do I do if I think someone is retaliating against me?


Report the retaliation immediately to the Title IX Director, a Deputy Title IX Coordinator, a Title IX Investigator and/or the FSUPD.

What could happen if I or someone I know retaliates?


You, or they, could face a charge of retaliation in addition to any charges of sexual misconduct.

What is complicity?


Complicity is any action or behavior done with the intent of aiding, facilitating, promoting or encouraging the commission of an act of Sex Discrimination or Sexual Misconduct.

It is my expectation that all members of our community are provided equitable opportunities to succeed and enrich the strength, skill, and character of the University. It is also expected that all members of our community will help create a work and educational environment that promotes fairness, respect, and trust, free from discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Behavior that may be considered offensive, demeaning, or degrading to persons or groups will not be tolerated.